Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):359-374 (2006)

Jason Kawall
Colgate University
: In this paper I attempt to defuse a set of epistemic worries commonly raised against ideal observer theories. The worries arise because of the omniscience often attributed to ideal observers – how can we, as finite humans, ever have access to the moral judgements or reactions of omniscient beings? I argue that many of the same concerns arise with respect to other moral theories (and that these concerns do not in fact reveal genuine flaws in any of these theories), and further, that we can and often do have knowledge of the reactions of ideal observers (according to standard, prominent theories in the domain of epistemology).
Keywords Philosophy   Political Philosophy   Ontology   Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-006-9016-8
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point.R. M. Hare (ed.) - 1981 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Epistemic Demands of Environmental Virtue.Jason Kawall - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):109-28.
Associative Virtues and Hume's Narrow Circle.Erin Frykholm - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):612-637.
Associative Virtues and Hume's Narrow Circle.Erin Frykholm - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):612-637.
On the Practical Impossibility of Being Both Well-Informed and Impartial.Sveinung Sundfør Sivertsen - 2019 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):52-72.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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